Ban Plastic Bags ― GPHA Tells Gov’t
The Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA) has challenged government to be more pragmatic in its approach in tackling the filth that has engulfed the country.
At a workshop organized in Accra on Monday, the association, amongst a list of recommendations, called on government to ban the use of plastic bags.
“Immediate steps should be taken by the government to ban the use of all bio non-degradable materials as packaging materials and as containers, such as plastic bottles.
“Companies producing such bio non-degradable materials (e.g plastic bottles and for sachet water) should be made to contribute to their collection and disposal.”
A recent report by UNICEF indicates, Ghana is rated very low in terms of sanitation performance in the world.
Reasons such as open defecation, discharging of liquid waste directly into the sea, disposal of non-biodegradable waste into open drains, piling up of refuse heaps due to poor collection system, indiscriminate dumping of refuse by the public into drains especially whenever it rains, and improper disposal of e-waste were given as the cause of the sanitation menace in the country.
According to the association, “An aggressive and a holistic, coordinated waste cycle approach must be adopted by government and all stakeholders (from storage, collection and transport, transfer, treatment, and recycling) if we are to succeed in addressing the worsening environmental sanitation situation in the country, and achieve the President’s vision for Sanitation in Africa.”
The GPHA believes there are available technologies to help address each step in the chain by partnering with the private sector in Public Private Partnership arrangements with provision of incentives such as tax exemptions.
The workshop was organized to discuss the worsening environmental sanitation situation in the country, especially in Accra; and the options available to inform policy.
It was driven by challenges posed by the sordid picture of sanitation in the country with the potential health and other consequences. It also served as GPHA’s contribution to the recent declaration by President Akufo-Addo to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa in his term of office.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum